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February 5, 2007

Looking at the Daily News editorial on Barclays, affordable housing, and apartheid

Atlantic Yards Report

The New York Daily News, in an editorial today (Taking it to the bank) taking Barclays' defensive letter on faith, goes beyond the bank's statement to distort the issues.

Consider the Daily News statement:

The bank's payments - the largest ever for arena naming rights - will help finance thousands of units of affordable housing while fattening Ratner's wallet.

That's a distortion. Yes, any revenue that Forest City Ratner would gain would help the overall enterprise, but the developer has not yet claimed that the Barclays deal was supposed to build subsidized housing. Rather, the affordable housing would be financed significantly by government funds--and the city has been unwilling to reveal the amount.

The Daily News continues:

But some howl that the money is unfit for Brooklyn. They accuse Barclays, founded in the 17th century, of having profited from the slave trade and reprising that bad behavior by doing business in South Africa during apartheid. This amounts to what one historian calls a "game of gotcha."

Actually, the historian quoted in the New York Times confined his "gotcha" comment to the slavery issue, not the more contemporary (and less murky) apartheid issue.

But wait, there's more.

Posted by lumi at February 5, 2007 8:21 AM